Chang Jiwen, vice director of the Research Institute of Resources and Environment Policies under the Development Research Center of the State Council, revealed that a draft amendment to the Law on Wildlife Protection has been completed by the environment committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
He has stated that recognition of animal welfare is a “highlight” of the draft and refers to animals in captivity. Reports suggest the draft will only apply to wildlife and wild animals in captivity, however Animals Asia hope this could be a forerunner to wider legislation.
Animals Asia founder and CEO Jill Robinson said:
“Not a week goes by when we are not asked about the possibility of animal welfare legislation being introduced in China. There have been times when Chinese animal lovers believed it to be years away. To be talking about it now being submitted and reviewed before the end of 2015 seems miraculous. China deserves huge credit for taking this step and in order for this legislation to reach its full potential for positive change we must make sure that it’s worthy of the animals it seeks to defend.”
Animals Asia states that the challenge for the government is to introduce a law that will end animal suffering and require standards of care which allow captive animals to live a good quality of life.
Animal Asia Animal Welfare Director, Dave Neale said:
“Science now recognises animals are sentient beings with complex physical and emotional needs. Modern laws in China can build on the progress in the animal welfare arena and specify conditions and management practices which promote positive welfare states for animals in captivity.”
Jill Robinson added:
“We will continue to be the animals’ voice and lobby hard, as I’m sure China’s growing ranks of animal lovers will too, as their experience and advice is increasingly taken on board. If this is the first step then we hope China’s journey towards eradicating animal cruelty continues in a direction that considers animals as sentient beings. We are pleased to be part of the process, together with the public and decision makers across the country, that gives us hope for improved lives for China’s animals and shapes a future free from cruelty.”